VALHALLA, N.Y. -- A 45-year-old male inmate at the Westchester County Jail in Valhalla has tested positive for active tuberculosis,
Westchester County officials announced Saturday.
The man is being treated at the Westchester Medical Center under the watch of the Department of Corrections, officials said.
The county’s Department of Health is working with both the New York State Department of Health and Department of Correction to identify, evaluate, and treat as necessary inmates, staff members, and any others who were exposed to the infected inmate.
Tuberculosis typically affects the lungs, but can also affect other parts of the body.
According to DOH officials, TB is much less infectious than many common infections such as chickenpox.
The bacteria grow very slowly and it takes prolonged exposure and close contact with an individual with TB before a person can become infected.
Following exposure, the disease can be prevented and is generally completely curable with a course of antibiotics.
DOH officials say that there are approximately 30-40 cases of TB in the county each year.
This is the first confirmed case at the jail in many years.
A Holiday Mass by Cardinal Dolan scheduled for Monday morning at the jail will go on as planned. Both County Executive Rob Astorino and Cardinal Dolan have been briefed on the situation and the pathology of TB and both agree that there is minimal risk.